US adults score below average on worldwide test

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by arauca, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. arauca Banned Banned

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    —Americans scored toward the bottom in the category of problem solving in a technology rich environment. The top five scores in the areas were from Japan, Finland, Australia, Sweden and Norway, while the U.S. score was on par with England, Estonia, Ireland and Poland. In nearly all countries, at least 10 percent of adults lacked the most basic of computer skills such as using a mouse.

    —Japanese and Dutch adults who were ages 25 to 34 and only completed high school easily outperformed Italian or Spanish university graduates of the same age.

    —In England, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United States, social background has a big impact on literacy skills, meaning the children of parents with low levels of education have lower reading skills.

    America's school kids have historically scored low on international assessment tests compared to other countries, which is often blamed on the diversity of the population and the high number of immigrants. Also, achievement tests have long shown that a large chunk of the U.S. student population lacks basic reading and math skills—most pronounced among low-income and minority students.

    This test could suggest students leaving high school without certain basic skills aren't obtaining them later on the job or in an education program.

    The United States will have a tough time catching up because money at the state and local level, a major source of education funding, has been slashed in recent years, said Jacob Kirkegaard, an economist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    "There is a race between man and machine here. The question here is always: Are you a worker for whom technology makes it possible to do a better job or are you a worker that the technology can replace?" he said. For those without the most basic skills, he said, the answer will be merciless and has the potential to extend into future generations. Learning is highly correlated with parents' education level.

    "If you want to avoid having an underclass—a large group of people who are basically unemployable—this educational system is absolutely key," Kirkegaard said.

    Dolores Perin, professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, said the report provides a "good basis for an argument there should be more resources to support adults with low literacy."

    Adults can learn new skills at any age and there are adult-geared programs around the country, Perin said. But, she said, the challenge is ensuring the programs have quality teaching and that adults regularly attend classes.

    "If you find reading and writing hard, you've been working hard all day at two jobs, you've got a young child, are you actually going to go to class? It's challenging," Perin said.

    Some economists say that large skills gap in the United States could matter even more in the future. America's economic competitors like China and India are simply larger than competitors of the past like Japan, Carnevale said. Even while America's top 10 percent of students can compete globally, Carnevale said, that doesn't cut it. China and India did not participate in this assessment.

    "The skills in the middle are required and we're not producing them," Carnevale said.

    Respondents were selected as part of a nationally represented sample. The test was primarily taken at home using a computer, but some respondents used a printed test booklet.

    Among the other findings:

    —Japan, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Flanders-Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Korea all scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test.

    —The average scores in literacy range from 250 in Italy to 296 in Japan. The U.S. average score was 270. (500 was the highest score in all three areas.) Average scores in 12 countries were higher than the average U.S. score.

    —The average scores in math range from 246 in Spain to 288 in Japan. The U.S. average score was 253, below 18 other countries.

    —The average scores on problem solving in technology-rich environments scale for adult ranged from 275 in Poland to 294 in Japan. The U.S. average score was 277, below 14 other countries.


    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-adults-score-average-worldwide.html#jCp
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if in fifteen years the ability to use a cutting torch or drive a bulldozer has turned out to be a more valuable skill (and far more difficult to acquire) than the ability to use a computer mouse.

    When they talk about people being replaced by machines, they always seem to overlook the highly skilled people replaced by computers - the word "calculator" used to be the name of a job done by a person, or actually thousands of people. All this STEM stuff is far more likely to be obsolete in the future than the ability to shingle a roof.

    The school systems of America have dropped vocational education and taken up algebra, and this bodes ill.
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, that's what's wrong with the U.S. ... too much algebra

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  7. arauca Banned Banned

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    when you know mat. you are intelligent , if you don't you are blue collar worker, and we want to look smart.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think the idea is to be smart. We need blue collar workers and we need white collar workers. Both need to be smart.
     
  9. arauca Banned Banned

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    l

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-adults-score-below-average-worldwide-test-090114407.htm
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    =============================================================================================
    America's school kids have historically scored low on international assessment tests compared to other countries, which is often blamed on the diversity of the population and the high number of immigrants.
    ================================================================================================


    Australia probably have the same diversity if not more, which leads me to believe that notion is pure unadulterated crap.

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    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in mid-2006 there were 4,956,863 residents who were born outside Australia, representing 24% of the total population.[26] The Australian-resident population consists of people who were born in these countries:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Australia
     
  11. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting that they called it a "worldwide test", but it only included twenty some countries...
     
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Although giving these scientific surveys the standing they deserve, I have never yet been polled.

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  13. river Valued Senior Member

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    thank goodness
     
  14. river Valued Senior Member

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    absolutely true

    here is Frank Stronch philosophy for the Magna corp.




    Frank Stronach is the founder and Chairman of Magna International Inc., one of the world`s largest and most diversified suppliers of automotive components, systems and modules.

    In 1969, Multimatic Investments Limited merged with the Magna Electronics Corporation Limited, with Mr. Stronach as one of the controlling shareholders.

    In 1973, Magna Electronics Corporation Limited was transformed into Magna International Inc.

    In 1971 Mr. Stronach introduced to the Corporation his management philosophy,

    which is known as Fair Enterprise. It is based on a business Charter of Rights which predetermines the annual percentage of profits shared between employees, management and investors, and makes every employee a shareholder in the company. These rights are enshrined in Magna International Inc.’s Corporate Constitution.

    Mr. Stronach is Chairman of the Board of Magna International Inc. and co-ordinates global strategies for the Corporation in regard to technology, marketing, product development and key management.

    Mr. Stronach has served on numerous corporate, government and university boards and has provided assistance to a wide range of charitable and community service organizations. He is the recipient of a Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa from Haifa University in Israel, a Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa LL.D. from the University College of Cape Breton, and a Doctor of Commerce, Honoris Causa from St. Mary`s University in Halifax. In 1996, Mr Stronach was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. He won the 1997 “Business Leader of the Year Award” from the Richard Ivey School of Business and the 1998 “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from the University of Michigan. In 1999, he was named a recipient of the Order of Canada and in 2000 he won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award”. In 2002, the Canadian Council for International Business named Mr. Stronach as the 2001 “Canadian International Executive of the Year”
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I imagine it would be painful.

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  16. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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  17. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    There some truth to this, in the carving out of middle class jobs to outsourcing and mechanization, but exactly how many specialist jobs do you think there are for people? How many carpenters, welders and plumbers do you think we will need and do you think their will be enough of such jobs to keep the economy running?
     
  18. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,206
    not enough

    we have the same problems here in the north

    trades are not what the young are interested in

    but one comment struck me as fundamental to this problem , the young nowadays are lazy , the trades are physical

    the young want the pay without working for it , they just want to punch the computer keys on the couch

    there is nothing wrong with being a trades professional

    the young are just plain lazy , and I blame the school system and the parents
     
  19. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Well that an interesting aaah theory, but what I'm asking has no baring on if people are lazy or not but on if their is enough jobs for them, period. Are there enough trade jobs for everyone? 200 years ago 70% if the US labor force was in agriculture, today it is 2% yet agriculture production went up significantly by many times, 70 years ago up to 45% of the labor force was in manufacturing, working in a factory making widgets, now that number is 9% and drooping yet US manufacturing is more productive today then every before. 80% of people are now working service sector, I don't believe this is because they are stupid or lazy, but because that all that is left for most people. Take Japan which score very very well in this study, yet they have been in a 20+ year stagnation. Education I honestly think is not the problem because there are simply not enough educated positions available, nor is their enough trade jobs.
     
  20. river Valued Senior Member

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    then the US is very different from Canada

    Canada is very short of trades people and people who want to get into the trades
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    So "communication skills" are lacking? The primary mental ability needed for communication, persuasion, etc, is empathy, seeing or hearing from another's point of view. The only demonstrated way to inculcate that ability these days is through reading good fiction (the recitation of poetry being defunct, barring whatever the real Slim Shady can bring) and careful practice and analysis of rhetoric.

    They don't even teach proofs in math classes these days. It's not a test skill.

    There will be more trade jobs than computer mouse jobs, would be my prediction. I was just reacting to the disparagement of adults with no "basic computer skills" such as mousing. "Basic computer skills" seem far more ephemeral than basic construction skills, and far more easily acquired at need if one does ever need them.

    I don't think the kids are lazy, exactly - it seems to me they are reluctant to venture into an arena of action and thought that is completely alien to them, mainly.
     
  22. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,206
    to reiterate from post # 11









    absolutely true

    here is Frank Stronch philosophy for the Magna corp.


    Frank Stronach is the founder and Chairman of Magna International Inc., one of the world`s largest and most diversified suppliers of automotive components, systems and modules.

    In 1969, Multimatic Investments Limited merged with the Magna Electronics Corporation Limited, with Mr. Stronach as one of the controlling shareholders.

    In 1973, Magna Electronics Corporation Limited was transformed into Magna International Inc.

    In 1971 Mr. Stronach introduced to the Corporation his management philosophy,

    which is known as Fair Enterprise. It is based on a business Charter of Rights which predetermines the annual percentage of profits shared between employees, management and investors, and makes every employee a shareholder in the company. These rights are enshrined in Magna International Inc.’s Corporate Constitution.

    Mr. Stronach is Chairman of the Board of Magna International Inc. and co-ordinates global strategies for the Corporation in regard to technology, marketing, product development and key management.

    Mr. Stronach has served on numerous corporate, government and university boards and has provided assistance to a wide range of charitable and community service organizations. He is the recipient of a Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa from Haifa University in Israel, a Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa LL.D. from the University College of Cape Breton, and a Doctor of Commerce, Honoris Causa from St. Mary`s University in Halifax. In 1996, Mr Stronach was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. He won the 1997 “Business Leader of the Year Award” from the Richard Ivey School of Business and the 1998 “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from the University of Michigan. In 1999, he was named a recipient of the Order of Canada and in 2000 he won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award”. In 2002, the Canadian Council for International Business named Mr. Stronach as the 2001 “Canadian International Executive of the Year”
     
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Unlike the "World Series" which is played in only one country.
     

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